The Spring 2015 selections have been made by the curators who choose the seriously cool products sold at the MoMA Design Store locations, and Productrazzi was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at them during a press preview last Wednesday. The mix of tech gadgets, household wares, sporting equipment, jewelry, accessories and furniture that will land in stores this week are among the most imaginative items we’ve seen in quite some time.
It was difficult to choose a favorite find by virtue of aesthetics alone so we let our research guide us and, as is usually the case, a particular item rose to the top of the avant-garde list. Both the medium and the message inspired us to select Dirk Vander Kooij’s Endless Flow rocking chair—the medium being 3D printing carried out by a unique robotic machine Dirk designed that oozes ground-up and melted internal components culled from the interiors of discarded refrigerators (see it in action in the video below). Having researched 3D printing extensively over the past several years, we were wondering when larger objects like furniture would trickle down into the retail arena—drumroll, please; that time has come!
Vander Kooij, an industrial designer based in The Netherlands, provided the message inspiring us to choose his chair. “I like the feeling of using recycled material; it makes me sleep better,” he says, describing the large number of refrigerators discarded each year as bizarre.
In the video, the self-described machine hacker explains how a normal 3D printer takes seven days to make a chair, whereas his “Endless” robot is faster. We’ve watched quite a few machines print products and Dirk’s creation feels to us like the big-gulp version of the technology that’s now producing smaller items for makers around the globe. “I sometimes see myself as a machine-maker rather than a designer,” he says, adding, “Inventor is too big a word, perhaps. But that’s something I’d like to be; an inventor.” Productrazzi believes he’s earned the stripes to put that designation squarely on his studio door.
Vander Kooij has orchestrated his robot to 3D-print other furniture, namely the RvR chair, the Fresnel light fixture, and a number of iterations in the Flow series, including a coffee table and a side chair. Not only is his desire to produce sustainable products striking a chord with curators, his designs are hitting high notes with design judges as well. He won the DMY award in 2011 at the Berlin Design Festival and was then asked to redesign the DMY trophy that’s been handed out since 2012.
What makes owning the Endless Flow rocking chair, being offered at the MoMA Design Stores for $2,200, such a coup? It’s included in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. If you’re going to rock out, why not do so in a piece of design history created from a burgeoning technology of recycled material? The fact that the variegated effect makes it appear it has subtle stripes is a bonus. That’s what we a Productrazzi call a win-win-win!
Text of MoMA Design Store Unveils New Products © Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon Henry is an author, poet and journalist based in New York City. Books include Anywhere But Here and Stranded on the Road to Promise. She also produces The Diary of an Improvateur and is a columnist on Architizer.